Thursday, August 19, 2010

Beneath the surface

When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, "Simon son of John, do you truly love me more than these?"

"Yes, Lord," he said, "you know that I love you."

Jesus said, "Feed my lambs."

Again Jesus said, "Simon son of John, do you truly love me?"

He answered, "Yes, Lord, you know that I love you."

Jesus said, "Take care of my sheep."

The third time he said to him, "Simon son of John, do you love me?"

Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, "Do you love me?" He said, "Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you."

Jesus said, "Feed my sheep. I tell you the truth, when you were younger you dressed yourself and went where you wanted; but when you are old you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go."

Jesus said this to indicate the kind of death by which Peter would glorify God. Then he said to him, "Follow me!"
John 21:15-19

No joke, I actually read this three times in the past three days. Our pastor preached on this Sunday, it's the subject of our Sunday School lesson next week (so I read it Monday), and I read it on one of the blogs Tuesday. Does that seem a little coincidental?

So I've been thinking about it and thinking about the question, "Do you love me more than these?" Not so much in the Jesus-was-talking-to-Peter sense, but as the Jesus is talking to me sense.

These. My sleep. My running. My husband. My job. My laziness. It cuts to the core. Do I love Jesus more than these?

It's hard to write. And I'm having a hard time writing it. I do love Jesus. But He's not always first in my life.

It's something I need to work on, along with pride and selfishness. It has to all be laid down.

I've also been thinking about life. You know, the one that I have planned out. The one that includes a big house, a successful job, 2.5 kids. You know, that one. All of those are good. But they are a waste without God in the center of my life.

I don't really have a point to this, except maybe to sort out these thoughts that have been running around in my head. Maybe to serve as encouragement to someone else going through this. But I think about our city, how it needs God. I think about those in my life who need God. It breaks my heart to think time may be running out for some of them. It hurts me to watch or hear how someone has hurt another person and then I wonder how I have hurt those closest to me.

Again, I reiterate: no real point. And the reason I reiterate is because I'm trying to come to a conclusion. But do I really need a conclusion to this? After all, God's not through with me. We've barely scratched the surface. I need a major soap scrubbing, a major cleaning in my life. And it's painful. I like some of my vices (and, no, coffee is NOT a vice!). I don't really want to admit any of them, but some of them, I just think, "Really? Is it such a bad thing?" But they are. And they need to be gotten rid of.

Do I love Jesus more than these?

More than the vices?

More than my laziness?

More than my pride?

More than my comfort?


David said...

I heard a sermon on these verses that pointed out that Jesus' first two questions use the Greek word "agape" (devine love), while Peter answers back using the Greek word "phileo" (brotherly love). The third time, Jesus uses the word "phileo," with Peter again replying with "phileo." Whether this is particularly significant to the meaning of the scriptures, I do not know. But it does seem that Peter twice answered a different question than was asked by Jesus.

Rachelle said...

Tough questions. Excellent post.

Brooke said...

i just finished up the book Radical...its got me thinking too.

stepping out of the ordinary is so hard...sometimes its hard to know what direction to head.

Mari said...

This is a thought provoking post - and one that pricks me, because of the things I put first.

Rachel @ Future Pastor's Wife said...

I think about that a lot. A LOT.

And I was going to write what David commented, because B and I were JUST talking about this the other night (the different between Jesus asking for agape and Peter offering phileo, and Jesus finally agreeing to phileo). Makes me wonder if we, as humans, without the Holy Spirit, are even capable of agape?

Great. Now my brain hurts. :)

septembermom said...

You're making me think which is important. I'm going to reflect on this as well.